Council suggests simple actions to help asylum seekers
Yesterday the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council released a leaflet providing suggestions for how individuals and small groups can show hospitality to asylum seekers.
The Council's National Executive Officer Sandie Cornish recalled the hospitality Australians showed to the first Indochinese refugees in 1965: "At that time the Australian community recognised its responsibility to welcome neighbors in need of asylum. It was an important step away from the White Australia policy that had distorted our community's expression of hospitality and damaged our reputation internationally."
The action leaflet - titled Ten Steps Towards Welcoming Asylum Seekers - provides ideas for simple actions that any individual or small group can take to welcome asylum seekers in Australia. In is an initiative of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council, and was produced in collaboration with the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office.
Ms Cornish suggested that Jesus' own identity as an asylum seeker is relevant to the way Australians receive those seeking asylum here: "Jesus was an asylum seeker and he continues to be present to us in the people seeking asylum in Australia today."
Copies of the leaflet are available from the Council's Secretariat (tel 02 9956 5811)
Australian Catholic Social Justice Council
Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office